Dotonbori

Description: 

If you are a fan of Hollywood movies, you may have some impression with Dotonbori street in Japan. In Black Rain-a 1989 movie , the main character comes here to find some entertainment and then involved in a chase to kill. Dotonbori street runs along Dotonbori Canal from Dotonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge. There are so many things to talk about this location then we can’t find the point to start. Someone says it is a historical street, right, it was even famous and flourishing in Edo period. Another considers it as the beating heart and soul of Osaka, exactly, it always full of light and energy and never sleeps. But Japanese simple call it Kuidaore which literally means “to eat oneself bankrupt”.

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Dotonbori Street

In 1612, a local trader Yasui Doton planned to create a canal connecting two branches of Yokobori river following his desire of improving commerce. Although he  died early, his cousins completed it in 1615. The Canal then was named after him, called Dotonbori with bori meant canal in Japanese. In 1620s, Japanese authorities instituted the urban plan and started to turn the Street along the Canal into an entertainment center. Many theatres had been built here together with restaurants and coffee shops in the context of increasing trade between Japan and other countries at that time. Although many stores and theatres closed or destroyed during the time of war, remaining the flouring state in the past,  Dotonbori nowadays is a center of restaurants and entertainment of Osaka which attracts both Japanese and foreign tourists. 

 

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Glico Man

 

Among many large illuminated sign boards and billboards, Glico Man is the most remarkable. It is an image of an athlete just running over the finishing line and just like an advertisement for some sport company. But Glico Candy is a confectionery company which manufactures the very famous Pocky and Pretz. Certainly, you can easily find this product in any supermarket or store in Japan but the Takoyaki-flavored Pretz is unique here, it is the. Then the Glico Man is famous for not only his eye-catching appearance but his Osaka- speciality-product and he deserves to be the symbol of Dotonbori as well as Osaka.

 

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Like Kyoto is famous for Kimonos, Osaka is well-known for food. That is why it is said that “Dress in Kimonos till you drop in Kyoto, eat till you drop in Osaka”. Osaka is famous for its food, and Dotonbori is the main destination of food in Osaka. It is a heaven of food with various traditional and modern Japanese dishes. Back to the name of Kuidaore, it is not only about the variety and appetite of Dotonbori’s food but also about the generosity of people in Osaka when paying for food in Dotonbori. That is enough to show the quality of food here. And you will understand all of this when you walk in the atmosphere of Edo time and the scent and smoke of food. There is a sea of food such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, Yakiniku, Ramen, Sushi..., all are delicious but very cheap.

 

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Restaurants in Dotonbori

 

Vendors friendly offer you many Osaka street food, especially takoyaki and okonomiyaki. Takoyaki are balls of flour, egg with pieces of octopus and ginger topped with mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and takoyaki sauce while Okonomiyaki is a kind of pancake made from flour, egg and dashi broth filling with all sorts of meat, vegetables, or seafood. Otakoya is a famous stand that you should come in front to wait for some skewers of takoyaki.

There are three Kinryu ramen restaurants in the street open all day. You can follow a giant golden dragon to enjoy hot ramen bowls when sitting in tatami mats.

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One of three Kinryu ramen restaurants

We have dragons and we also have crab. Kani Doraku is very eye-catching with its moving-arms-crab billboard serving delicious dishes of torafugu, a kind of blowfish in Japan. Keep discovering and you will meet giant neon billboards of fish, octopus, sushi or something like that. It may take all day to list and analyze all restaurant and vendors in Dotonbori but visitors are advised to bring their hungry stomachs then fill them with food, a little for each kind.

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Crab-Sushi-Octopus billboards

You can enjoy a bustling nightlife with many cafes, saunas, bars, nightclubs. Theatres with Manzai, Owarai, Rakugo performances and galleries with ceramic pottery exhibits and ukiyoe are ideal places for those who want to learn more about Japanese culture. You can walk around to buy a key chain for your friends, or rent a wooden boat drifting along the river to enjoy streets of colorful neon lights. It is not sure what you will think when floating in the Canal, maybe you realize the beauty of a busy street, or you admire the prosperity of this Japan's corner. however, if you think about Yasui Doton, you will find out that his desire has come true.

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Dotonbori Canal

 
Open time: 

Different open time for each restaurants, shops or clubs, popular time is from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm and some of them is open all day.

Visiors are advised to check out detailed time in Dotonbori's website.

Admission: 

You can freely enter the Street but prepare enough money to enjoy food and receation.

How to access: 

From Tokyo Station: take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. Take a subway for 15 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Namba Station.

From Nagoya station: take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 50 min from Nagoya Station to Shin-Osaka Station. Take a subway for 15 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Namba Station

Then take a 5 minutes walk from Namba Station of Subway Midosuji Line (exit No.14to Dotonbori.